What is a Box Pressed Cigar?
One of the more unique aspects of cigars is the variety of different sizes and shapes they are available in. Of course, there is your standard looking cigar that everyone knows, but within the community, there is a vast array of unique shapes, and each brings their own benefits. There are standard names for all of these, but also, with modern marketing, several companies have taken to giving sizes their own unique name and twist.
Before talking about the various sizes and size names, you first need to start with the basic cigar shape. This can be broken down into two distinct groups. The first is the most common, known as Parejo. The second, which is becoming ever more popular, is known as box-pressed. Today we are going to learn the difference between these two styles.
We’ll start with the most basic and well-known of the shapes, which are known as Parejo. In layman’s terms, a Parejo is your basic cigar shape. It is a long tube that is typically rounded off at both ends. While some cigar sizes, such as the torpedo or perfecto, might slightly stray from this, the important factor that classifies a cigar as a Parejo is its cylindrical sides and foot.
Any cigar that is rounded at the sides and end is a Parejo. It is the typical size and is obviously the most recognizable. When you picture a basic cigar in your mind, I’m willing to bet it was a Parejo.
The second basic cigar shape is known as box-pressed. In case you were wondering, it is exactly as it sounds. A box-pressed cigar starts out as a Parejo. However, while the cigar is still moist and fresh, it is placed into a square mold. This results in a more boxy shape as opposed to the rounded character of the Parejo.
Box-Pressed cigars were actually started by accident. When Cuba would box-fresh cigars to send overseas, many times they were tightly packed and were still fresh from the factory. By the time they reached Europe, they had developed a more box-like look. Today this is done on purpose, with companies like Tatuaje and AJ Fernandez making a large portion of their portfolio in the box-pressed style.
If you want to know which cigars you should try, check out our Top Five Box-Pressed Cigars video.
Box-Pressed Recommendations for Box-Pressed Newcomers
Today, we see several of the major cigar manufacturers creating projects in the box-pressed style. Some, such as Padron, have a majority of their cigars crafted in the box-pressed vitola. Here are some of the companies that have beautiful examples of this age-old shape.
As stated above, Padron is one of the leading makers of box-pressed cigars. In fact, with the exception of the Damaso 90th, and some private editions, all of Padron’s major releases come in the box-pressed shape.
From the original Padron Series to the Family Reserve, Padron has made the box-pressed shape a luxury symbol. The way the tobaccos are pressed creates such a beautiful cacophony of flavors and one of the reasons they have more 90+ ratings than any other company.
Tatuaje is another major manufacturer that has really showcased the box-pressed shape. Some of my favorite cigars ever were created by Pete Johnson using this shape. The Tatuaje Cojonu 2012, one of Pete’s most prized releases, is crafted in a box press size, along with his legendary T.A.A. yearly releases.
Tatuaje has continued using this shape in their newer products. Just this year, he re-released the M.E. II, also known as the Mexican Experiment that was made in a box press. One of his last entries into the Monster Series, the Freddy, is rolled into a beautiful box-pressed belicoso shape. You might also want to check out some of Pete’s releases from the L’Atelier brand, many of which are sporting the box-pressed look.
These are just some of the many fantastic cigars that are rolled in this unique and eye-catching shape. If you would like more recommendations, check out our Top Five Box-Pressed Cigars video.